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01 December 2008

Obama Names National Security Team

President Elect Obama named his National Security Team today. No surprises to these well kept secrets though.

Senator Clinton was chosen as the Secretary of State and awaits confirmation by the Senate.
Napolitano was named to head up the Homeland Security Department.
Gates was asked to stay on for at least another year as the Secretary of Defense.
Susan Rice was named as a UN Ambassador.
Jim Jones was selected as the National Security Advisor.

Obama says that 16 months is the correct time frame for pulling the troops out of Iraq and turning security of the country over to the Iraqis.

India says Pakistani 'elements' were responsible for the Mumbai attacks and calls on Pakistan to follow up on its words with 'action' to punish those involved in the attacks.

In other market news:

Treasury's drop to a record low on economic concerns.

Financials reverse week long advance and drop in a big way to start December.

The Manufacturing Index fell to the lowest level since May of 1982.

Mutual Fund investors are stuck with capital gains tax even as the market suffers huge losses.

OPEC delays decision to cut oil output by 2 weeks; crude oil falls and trades below $50 a barrel.

Is the market rally we saw last week exaggerated by short covering? Stocks that were most heavily shorted beat the market averages last week.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has given us the official word, that we all have known for months, that we are in a recession. They put the start date of the recession at December 2007. Now the government can finally stop denying we are in a recession.

The Automakers have until December 2nd to tell Congress their plan for using the bailout money and what they will do to turn the industry around. GM may get $10-12 billion, but they want $50 billion. So does this indicate that the $10-12 billion they might get is not enough to do any good and therefore a waste of money or is it an indication that GM is still in denial and unwilling to become more efficient?

Automakers are expected to make concessions and compromises to get their hands on that $25 billion.

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